Saturday, 5 December 2009

Two Little Ducks

My Dog Walk Patch Count was smashed this afternoon with 22 species on the round trip to WHIE. Me and The Pup had 13 by the time we reached the end of Horton Burn, the best being three Bullies and a Coal Tit (I haven't seen one for many months). 

In the Estate itself, more relevant was what was NOT seen - Jay, Buzzard, Redwing, Fieldfare and Rook.  No Blue Tits seen or heard along the route either.  Got a glimpse of the Quick Brown Fox as it ran east to the north of the smaller Flash.

Dozens of Teal on the Flash or in flight, the usual gulls present, along with a pair of Mistle Thrushes.  Nothing to get too excited about, but a pleasant 80 minutes nonetheless.

Friday, 4 December 2009

Usual Suspects

Found myself in work mode in SE Northumberland this morning, and as the day developed, it was far too nice to be indoors ('who knows what the weekend will hold, so grab the rays whilst they're there', is my philosophy at this time of year).

Off to Bothal Pond (bit big for a pond on a good day, but after the recent rain, it's more a big lake!).  Counted 25 species, inc. over 200 Canada Geese (with Billy (No Mates) the Barnacle Goose in with them), but other than that, nothing out of t'ordinary.

After 45 minutes, off to Longhirst, with a score of 4.

And then Castle Island for 2.15pm.  20 listed, inc. 2 Sparrowhawks (close up and personal), a pair of RB Mergansers and an odd duck sat on a log on the river's edge, south bank, to the east of the path through the allotments (opposite the east end off the island).  Head was under its wing, poor thing, but it appeared all white below and neck, and all dark (black?) on top with a long dark tail.  Never saw the head whilst I was there, but it was alive as its tail wagging showed.  Imagine a GBBG with duck's feet!  Probably a Muscovy.  Can I tick it?  Yes you can!  (there's a song in there somewhere!).

Tuesday, 1 December 2009

The Great And The Good

Congratulations to Boulmer Birder for being the 'first footer' as this blog's hits pass 1000.  The prize I offer is the warm glow in knowing that he has moved the site forward from three figures to four.

The only benefit of working at Ponteland is the ease with which I can sneak off to respond to 'Brambling at Bolam' or 'Nightingale at Angerton' (although the latter was never ticked, some crackin' Redstarts were).

Now add to my deviousness, 'Great Northern Diver at Whittle Dene'. 

Got up this morning and puked, but being the steadfast public servant I am, I went to work despite feeling sh*te, stomach churning, face burning and hands and feet freezin'.

So at noon, I decided to take a half day and a handful of tablets washed down by a Lemsip but before doing so, a detour to The Dene to tick the GND.  What a cracker, if not a little distant. 

Silly tw*t that I am, after my trip the the homeland at the weekend, I forgot to move the kit from garage to car boot so only had the bins.  Met two sound chaps there, the legendary Tom Tams and another guy who gave me a few views through his scope.

On the way home, Common Buzzard v 6 Crows further along the Military Road and female Sparrowhawk into the grounds of Ponteland Middle School.

Freekin' chilly', but superb!